Regulation of mitochondrial nutrient and energy metabolism by BCL-2 family proteins

Trends Endocrinol Metab. 2015 Apr;26(4):165-75. doi: 10.1016/j.tem.2015.02.004. Epub 2015 Mar 5.


Cells have evolved a highly integrated network of mechanisms to coordinate cellular survival/death, proliferation, differentiation, and repair with metabolic states. It is therefore not surprising that proteins with canonical roles in cell death/survival also modulate nutrient and energy metabolism and vice versa. The finding that many BCL-2 (B cell lymphoma 2) proteins reside at mitochondria or can translocate to this organelle has long motivated investigation into their involvement in normal mitochondrial physiology and metabolism. These endeavors have led to the discovery of homeostatic roles for BCL-2 proteins beyond apoptosis. We predominantly focus on recent findings that link select BCL-2 proteins to carbon substrate utilization at the level of mitochondrial fuel choice, electron transport, and metabolite import independent of their cell death regulatory function.

Keywords: BCL-2 proteins; OXPHOS; fatty acids; glucose; metabolism; mitochondria.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Diet / adverse effects
  • Energy Intake
  • Energy Metabolism*
  • Homeostasis*
  • Humans
  • Mitochondria / enzymology
  • Mitochondria / metabolism*
  • Models, Biological*
  • Oxidative Phosphorylation
  • Protein Transport
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2 / metabolism*


  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2